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Coronavirus – Gov’t: Hungarian Special Measures Common These Days, Criticism Politically Motivated

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.04.23.

Justice Minister Judit Varga on Thursday slammed “certain politicians whose most important task is to make political accusations against Hungary” in the current situation when every country is trying to restart their economy and focuses on securing their citizens’ health.

Commenting on the criticism of Hungary’s extraordinary legal measures introduced in connection with the pandemic, she told public Kossuth radio that in the current special situation every country had introduced extraordinary measures. (You can find the law here.)

The Hungarian coronavirus law fully meets the principles Vice President of the European Commission Vera Jourova noted at Wednesday’s meeting of the European Council’s General Affairs Council (GAC), Varga said.

The Hungarian regulation meets the principles of necessity, proportionality and purpose limitation because its primary aim is to combat the damaging effects of the virus and set the framework for protecting lives and people’s health, she said. The measures enable Hungary to maintain constitutional control and provide flexible conditions for the Constitutional Court to carry out its tasks, she added. The European Commission expects the preservation of parliamentary control and the Hungarian law also fulfils this requirement, she said.

Detailed Analysis of the “Coronavirus Law” by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Commenting on an EC document under preparation to assess the member states’ extraordinary measures, she said a chart is already available comparing the constitutional framework and details of the measures. In some countries, unlike in Hungary, the option of introducing an extraordinary legal order has not even been laid down in the constitution, Varga said, noting that Hungary did not criticise these countries for “having to come up with a solution just now”.

“We respect that in such a situation every country knows what is most important and under what legal framework they need to introduce these measures,” she said.

Varga said Hungary rejects being lectured, no matter whether by leading politicians, EU officials or the media.

An EC assessment is still “ahead of us”, yet European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders has already voiced concerns about the Hungarian situation, the Justice Minister said.

Danube Institute President on Epidemic Law: Not the End of Democracy but Lack of Sunset Clause is Worrisome

“Politically motivated attacks” can be expected to continue but Hungary will protect its coronavirus law at every forum, with the help of the law and the facts, she said.

State Secy Kovács to BBC: Hungary being ‘lynched’

Hungary is being subjected to “political lynching” because its government is “walking its own way, trying to select the most effective way of handling the coronavirus epidemic”, State Secretary Zoltán Kovács said in an interview to the BBC on Wednesday.

In his interview, Kovács argued that Hungary’s recent coronavirus law was necessary to facilitate “rapid and firm measures” to fight “an unknown enemy”. Answering a question, he said that parliament could withdraw the government’s special authorisations any time when the deputies deem the crisis to be over. He also noted that the governments of four other European countries have been granted similar authorisations without a time limit.

Kovács said that “protecting the health, security and interests of the whole Hungarian population” was a top priority for the government. He insisted that the Hungarian government had managed to avoid “problems that the UK, Italy or Spain could not” because their governments “failed to take firm action when it was necessary”.

Featured photo by Gergely Botár/kormany.hu